Phase 1A now guaranteed appointments from Pa. COVID vaccine providers

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — As Pennsylvania passes the grim milestone of 1 million positive COVID-19 cases, Pennsylvania’s Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam signed an amended order Thursday that seeks to alleviate the frantic search for Pa. COVID-19 vaccination appointments.

Under the order, certain Pa. COVID vaccine providers must schedule appointments as far into the future as necessary to accommodate Phase 1A individuals. COVID vaccine providers who do not inform Phase 1A individuals of an available appointment may be subject to enforcement.

“While it may seem like a daunting task, it is possible with the hard work and commitment of our trusted providers and the help of the state’s 52 Area Agencies on Aging, that have already been doing a tremendous job partnering with providers,” Acting Sec. Beam said. “We want to foster these relationships, leading by example of the partnerships already in place, and meet the goal of getting our Phase 1A eligible Pennsylvanians vaccinated in short order.”

The amended order also requires providers to continue to ensure that appointments can be scheduled both by phone and using online scheduling systems.

“We know not everyone has access to the Internet or the time or capability to navigate the website or repeatedly call to get an appointment,” Beam said. “The AAAs are a unique resource with the relationships and knowledge to assist seniors looking to be vaccinated. We believe that together the AAAs and vaccine providers can help these seniors get vaccinated, as shown by the many successful existing partnerships already under way and getting our most vulnerable connected with vaccine appointments.”

In addition, providers actively receiving vaccine must coordinate with the applicable local Area Agency on Aging (AAAs) and Medical Assistance Managed Care Organizations (MA MCOs) to schedule appointments for adults eligible under Phase 1A.

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